Prayer cuts through oppression's chains

The media in recent times have highlighted the stories of hostages. Innocent children, women, and men held against their will often become pawns in political situations. An Irishman, Brian Keenan, a teacher in Beirut who was captured and held hostage for over four years, spoke recently of his ordeal at a news conference after his release. He commented wryly, "I continually told myself that they could only take my liberty, not my freedom."

There are other kinds of oppression too that keep people in prison. Some might as well be hostages because of the extent of fear in their lives, or unhappy family relationships, lack of income, or illness. Is there anything people can do to snap such chains of oppression?

If you want some encouraging reading on the subject, the Bible can offer amazingly contemporary-sounding accounts of those who turned to God for help in times of oppression and were set free. David escaped from Saul's soldiers at Engedi; Elijah, whose life was threatened by Jezebel, found God's comforting presence with him as he took shelter in a cave in Mount Horeb; Christ Jesus proved that even the walls of a tomb could not cut him off from God's all-powerful love.

God, no longer the great unknown
January 14, 1991

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